“Candy in the Garden”

On Thursday, April 19th, the Garden Club of Long Valley will sponsor an evening with Kent Russell, the Garden Guru and perennial specialist. Kent, a nationally recognized celebrity gardener, will entertain and educate with his informative presentation, “Candy in the Garden”. Served up with verve and humor and illustrated with a wide assortment of plant materials, he will focus on creating eye-catching drama in any garden setting! In addition to the abundant plant material, Kent will share stories about his recent gardening adventures.

The presentation will be at the Schooley’s Mountain Park Lodge at 54 Camp Washington Road, Long Valley.

The cost is $25.00 per ticket and includes complimentary sweet and savory refreshments. There will be a free door prize raffle and a raffle on Kent Russell containers.  There will also be a garden boutique and a plant sale featuring annuals, perennials and tropicals.

For ticket sales and information, please call 908-813-2894.

Doors open at 6pm and program begins at 7pm. All proceeds will go towards funding Garden Club community projects.

For information about the Garden Club of Long Valley, please visit www.thegardencluboflongvalley.shutterfly.com.

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Winterberry Holly – A Great Shrub for Winter Interest

Winterberry Holly – Ilex verticillata – is a nifty class of native shrubs. 

Winterberries are a deciduous, multi-stemmed shrub, generally 6′ to 10′ tall, but can get larger. They have an oval to rounded form, are upright and spreading, and will sucker and form large clumps in moist soil.

These shrubs have small white flowers in early June, but the flowers aren’t anything to write home about.  Their Fall color isn’t especially showy either.  Their great claim to fame is the bright red berries in winter. 

The berries are only present on female plants and need a male plant nearby to pollinate.  If you’re buying them from a nursery or catalog, the tag will usually note if it’s male or female, so be sure to get one of each unless you already have some nearby.

The berries are bright red and glossy and held well into winter – unless the birds eat them…which they like to do.  If you snip a few branches with the berries, they look great in winter containers.

Winterberry hollies are happiest in full sun to partial shade – more sun means more fruit on females. They’re tolerant of poorly-drained soils, but prefer moist, acidic soils.  They grow great at the edge of the woods or in swampy areas, although unfortunately, the deer will graze on them. 

Did I mention they’re native and hardy to our area? If you’re looking for shrubs to add to your border, Ilex verticillatas are definitely worth considering.

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